A traditional tummy tuck has excellent advantages and is a great option for those seeking a flatter stomach after pregnancy. But for people who have lost a significant amount of weight, a traditional tummy tuck may not be the best solution.
This is where fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty can be an option. The body contouring procedure involved in a traditional tuck removes excess skin in a horizontal direction. The fleur-de-lis tuck removes skin from both horizontal and vertical directions. In this procedure, the skin is pulled downward and inward toward the center of the abdomen. The abdominal muscles are pulled together and contoured, resulting in a much tighter appearance.
What are the Main Differences Between a Fleur-De-Lis and a Regular Tummy Tuck?
There are several ways in which the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck differs from traditional abdominoplasty. The incision is the primary aspect. The surgery gets its name from the fleur-de-lis shape of the incision, which includes the traditional hip-to-hip line as well as a vertical incision from the breast bone to the pubic area. The horizontal and vertical incisions meet at this juncture.
The purpose of the second incision is to allow for more substantial removal of loose skin from the sides of the abdomen. Traditionally, horizontal incisions allow the surgeon to tighten and trim tissue from above and below that line. The vertical incision creates more circumferential contouring across the front and the sides of the abdomen (but not around the sides to the back).
Who Is a Good Candidate for Fleur-De-Lis (FDL) Abdominoplasty?
People who have lost a significant amount of weight and have kept it off for an extended period of time are usually the ones who benefit from this procedure. This is a great option for those who have undergone gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgery.
How Can I Prepare for My Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anesthesia, so the doctor may perform a few tests or lab work to ensure that this technique can be done safely. A thorough medical history and examination occur during our consultation, and details of the surgery are thoroughly discussed. Additionally, patients who schedule abdominoplasty receive an outline of pre- and post-surgical care instructions. General instructions include:
- Arranging two to four weeks off work
- Arranging for help with children and household duties
- Picking up prescriptions and medical supplies before the day of surgery
- Patients must avoid smoking and tobacco use for 6 weeks prior to surgery
- Some patients may need to switch or stop taking certain medications and supplements one to two weeks before surgery
During a consultation for abdominoplasty, it is important to discuss all current medications, supplements, and recreational drugs. Certain substances can interfere with optimal healing. Some may increase surgical risks.
How Long Does a Fleur-De-Lis Abdominoplasty Take?
Depending on the patient’s unique anatomy and level of correction desired, the fleur-de-lis procedure may take between three and six hours. The doctor discusses anticipated surgical duration during the consultation and may review this and other details during a brief pre-operative visit at the surgical center or hospital.
Can a Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck Be Combined With Other Procedures?
Just like standard abdominoplasty procedures, a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures. Common ancillary surgeries include breast augmentation, breast lift, and liposuction.
What is the Recovery from a Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck?
The results of the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck are immediately noticeable, even with the application of a post-surgical garment. Patients should expect a few weeks of bruising and discoloration across the midsection. Swelling is most profound during this time, as well, but can take several months to resolve completely. As these side effects subside, the new abdominal contours become more apparent and satisfying
In addition to the standard horizontal tummy tuck scar, patients who undergo the fleur-de-lis procedure also have a vertical scar from the breastbone to the center of the horizontal scar. Initially, incision scars may appear red and somewhat raised. The skin where the incisions intersect may need special care to promote optimal healing. In general, patients may expect the following during the recovery from the fleur-de-lis tummy tuck:
- Tightness, tenderness, and soreness in the abdomen
- Difficulty standing fully upright until the tightened muscle tissue settles (this can take about 10 days)
- A surgical garment must be worn as directed for four to six weeks after surgery
- Excessive strain and movement should be avoided during the first week
- Light exercise may resume about four weeks after surgery
The recovery time will vary between individuals, but in general, you should be completely healed from all bruising within several months. In the early recovery stage, you will have bandages and drains that will require proper care. You will also be fitted with a compression garment to reduce swelling. You should be able to return to work after two weeks. No heavy lifting should be attempted for six weeks. Dr. Spence will direct you on all of the post-surgery requirements to get you back up and moving as quickly as possible.
Are There any Risks to a Fleur-De-Lis tummy Tuck?
The vast majority of patients who undergo this special tummy tuck technique are very happy with their decision. The most common post-operative side effects include swelling, bruising, and an extended scar that takes time to heal. Though rare, risks including infection, seroma, hematoma, and delayed healing exist. Patients are carefully evaluated to ensure they are good candidates for general anesthesia, but there is no way to eliminate the very low potential for adverse reaction.
Patients must make a point of walking short distances a few times a day after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots in the legs. Though not considered a complication, shifting of the position of the incision scar can occur as the tissue heals. Because patients are aware of their vertical and horizontal scarring, this is usually manageable, as the scar fades over time.
How can I maintain my results?
The results of a tummy tuck can last many years. Patients are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyle habits that prevent weight gain beyond 5 to 10 pounds. In time, age-related skin laxity may recur after a tummy tuck but usually does not interfere with the overall shape of the abdomen.